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April 16, 2021

Stocks plateau as unrest worries weigh

Business

April 16, 2021

Stocks plateaued on Thursday as caution prevailed after government banned a religious political party, and tightened measures to curb COVID cases, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) KSE-100 Shares Index shed 0.81 percent or 81.04 points to close at 45,230.18 points. Volumes were flat at 347.66 million shares compared with 341.88 million in the last trading session.

Topline Securities in its daily market review said the benchmark index moved between intraday high and low of 136 and 137 points respectively.

Investor interest was mainly witnessed in blue chips stocks. OGDC, FFC and ENGRO were the major gainer in today’s trading session, it added.

An analyst at Arif Habib Limited said market traded in a narrow range with total traded volumes almost unchanged with a general disinterest by investors disregarding the overnight increase in international crude oil prices and upcoming financial results season from April 20th.

The analyst said although exploration and production stocks reacted to the increase in international crude, the price performance remained muted.

Cement and steel sectors, which performed in the recent sessions, saw profit-booking, while technology stocks suffered selling pressure, with the exception of Telecard that hit its upper circuit, he said.

As many as 374 scrips were active of which 134 advanced, 218 declined, and 22 remained unchanged.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said stocks closed bearish amid pressure in overbought scrips on investor concerns over economic uncertainty.

Mid-session support was witnessed in earning season on surging global crude oil prices; however, IMF and WB projections, likely hike in power tariff for industrials, concerns over outcome of banking scrips falling short of minimum capital requirements (MCR) and impact of $10 billion ADB commitments amid reports of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) project performance falling to 58 percent led to bearish close, Mehatni said.

Danish Ladhani at JS Global Capital said volatility remained in the market amid profit-taking.

“(LSM) (large-scale manufacturing) continued on a positive trajectory in February, with 4.85 percent growth compared to the same month last year. Cumulatively speaking, 8MFY21 LSM growth now stands at 7.45 percent,” Ladhani said.

A A H Soomro at KASB Securities said stock market remained flattish depicting a typical Ramzan day.

“Noise over TLP's protest might increase as government has banned the party under terrorism charges and is showing no signs of weakness in terms of the writ of state.”

“ A top level huddle is expected today to devise plan of action after this as law and order situation could be exploited by miscreants, giving opposition chance to put further pressure on the government, Soomro saud. He added that given a smaller working day investors remained on the sides.

Best gainers of the day were Sapphire Textile up Rs61.05 to close at Rs875.05/share, and Nestle Pakistan up Rs41.49 to close at Rs5,851.49/share.

Worst losers were Bhanero Textile down Rs54.9 to close at Rs595/share and AKD Capital down Rs35.01 to end at Rs440.11/share.

Telecard Limited was the highest traded share with 73.57 million shares, followed by Worldcall Telecom with 64.88 million, and Hum Network that posted a volume of 17.37 million shares.